Finding Balance in Life

At first Parshat Naso seems nothing more than a disassociated combination of random laws. The adulterous sotah must drink before the Beit Din, while the spiritual nazir must refrain from shaving and drinking wine. The laws of the sotah, an accused adulterer, and the laws for a nazir, one who seeks to live an ascetic… Read More

No Matter Your ‘Position,’ it’s Probably for the Best

Baseball season arrived, and we stood on the dirt field at Little League practice. I held my glove between my elbow and ribs while I fixed the brim on my baseball cap. Today, we would be given our positions, and Sunday we would play the Red Sox. “I’m gonna land shortstop, watch and see!” I… Read More

A ‘Marriage’ Unbroken

In the Torah reading for Parshat Bamidbar, Moshe is instructed by G-d to count the people. As G-d led His people out of Egypt from slavery, He asked for everyone to be counted, even people who were not priests or landowners. Each person was to be counted by name and to be oriented by tribe…. Read More

True Freedom Implies a Return to One’s True Essence

What is the truest definition of freedom? I believe that an exploration of a difference of interpretation between two Talmudic sages on a phrase in our Torah portion will shed a great deal of light on this fundamental existential question. Commenting on the verse that submits that if the nation walks in God’s ways, He… Read More

The Matrix

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The deepest existential question we all ask is, if G-d created us and He is all good, then why is there pain and suffering? We are born without having chosen it and forced into a life that contains difficulties and setbacks that are unwanted and undeserved, and that makes it cruel. Some of us ask… Read More

Accepting Communal Responsibility

After listing many other rules to help keep the Jewish people pure, Parshat Emor concludes by telling us about a man who blasphemes God. All those who heard him blaspheme God are to put their hands on his head and then stone him. God explains that anyone who commits blasphemy should be put to death… Read More

Stop the Cycle of Violence

This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Emor, contains a well-known verse allocating punishment on the level of “fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” This verse has been mistakenly associated with the brutal image of torn-off limbs, ripped-out eyes and a lot of blood. Luckily, as Jewish people, we do not generally believe that… Read More

Community’s Strength Lies in Ability to Reach Out

Who are we as individuals? Who are we as a people? What makes us who we are? The answer is simple: our choices and our actions. As a civil society, we need rules to function. You can’t have a community with people doing whatever they want without any guidelines. This Shabbat, we read Parshat Kedoshim,… Read More

Freedom Doesn’t End With Exodus

I recently participated in an evening of learning at a local Lutheran church where a local imam and I were asked to discuss the ways our respective faiths were most often misunderstood. This church and their pastor sought to spend time during Lent learning about other faiths in order to help strengthen their own faith…. Read More

Parshat Acharei Mot A Meaningful Life Requires Dedication

It is fascinating that our Bible commands us to perform the laws and statutes of the Lord and then it adds “and he shall live by them.” Would any moral individual think to perform laws that could cause them to die? Our Sages use this seemingly superfluous phrase to teach a most important lesson, one… Read More